Skip to content
News / July 7, 2008

Childhood tooth decay linked to vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy

by Guy Hiscott

Levels of vitamin D in pregnant women may affect the dental health of their infants, new research has revealed.

Researchers at the University of Manitoba analysed the vitamin D levels of 206 women in their second trimester of pregnancy and found only 21 (10.5%) of the women had adequate vitamin D levels.

High levels of vitamin D were related to the frequency of milk consumption and prenatal vitamin use. Yet, expectant mothers with low levels of vitamin D may be putting their infants at an increased risk of childhood tooth decay.

The researchers also examined 135 infants and found that 21.6% of them had enamel defects and 33.6% had early childhood tooth decay. Mothers of infants with enamel defects had lower, but not significantly different, mean vitamin D concentrations during pregnancy than mothers of infants without enamel defects.

Mothers of infants with early childhood tooth decay had significantly lower vitamin D levels than mothers of cavity-free infants. Infants with enamel defects were significantly more likely to have early childhood tooth decay, the researchers said.